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Unattended Cooking To Blame For Fremont Apartment Fire

FREMONT (BCN) -- An early morning fire that broke out over the weekend in a two-story apartment in Fremont was caused by unattended cooking, the Fremont Fire Department concluded Monday.

The fire started around 3 a.m. Sunday in the upstairs kitchen of a unit at the Pinebrook West Apartments at 4001 Nicolet Ave., the Fire Department said.

A male juvenile attempting to fry chicken had heated some oil in a pot, Capt. Daniel Cardenas said. While waiting for the oil to heat up, the boy went into the living room and dozed off, Cardenas said.

The boy awoke to a popping sound and attempted to extinguish the fire with water, which only spread the fire, Cardenas said. He then ran out of the apartment to alert the building manager and spotted a fire extinguisher on the way.

The boy tried unsuccessfully to put out the fire with the extinguisher.

"By that time, the fire was too much for that one extinguisher," Cardenas said.

During his efforts to put out the fire, the boy inhaled smoke and some of the powdery contents of the dry-chemical extinguisher, Cardenas said. The boy was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

"He is fine," Cardenas said, adding that the boy was released that night. "It could have been a lot worse for him."

Cardenas said the home did have a smoke detector, but it was not in place and the battery had expired.

Two families were temporarily displaced because of the fire. Firefighters estimate that about $120,000 worth of damage occurred, including to the building structure and the contents of two units, one of which sustained smoke damage.

(© CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)

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